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Toque Macaque: Activists express fear over proposal to export 100,000 monkeys from Sri Lanka to China
Toque Macaque
Representational image by Steve Garvie on Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

Toque Macaque: Activists express fear over proposal to export 100,000 monkeys from Sri Lanka to China

| @indiablooms | 24 Apr 2023, 08:13 pm

Colombo: Environmentalists have expressed doubts over Sri Lankan Minister Mahinda Amaraweera's recent announcement that the government is considering a Chinese private company’s proposal to import 100,000 “toque macaque” monkeys from Sri Lanka for 1,000 zoos in China as the animal is already considered to be endangered.

Sri Lanka is the only natural habitat for the monkeys which has been put on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as an endangered species.

According to Sri Lankan environmentalist Dr. Murali Vallipuranathan between 2000 and 2020, the United States alone imported 482,000 monkeys for experimental purposes, reports The Diplomat.

But there is a fear in Sri Lanka that conditions in Chinese labs could be especially harsh because China has little regard for animal rights. Even if the monkeys are meant for zoos, there is a strong pattern of animal cruelty at China’s zoos and wildlife parks.

Former Sri Lankan Minister for Wildlife Navin Dissanayake described the Sri Lankan government’s indifference to this aspect as an “abomination", reports The Diplomat.

According to Amaraweera, Sri Lanka has a population of 3 million toque macaque monkeys, way too many. They have been causing enormous damage to crops, he pointed out.

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